In a solo act indifferent to choreography and having little to do with world peace, Jane Goldberg nevertheless makes an impression as a unique free spirit with a lot of heart. She guides the audience on a journey through her life experiences via familiar anecdotes, accompanied by musical selections from Bob Dylan to African and Indian rhythms to the Beatles. The laid-back atmosphere she creates in an intimate gallery space works to her advantage. Her twisted assertion that tap dance was invented by a female Jew is advanced with the help of her quirky storytelling and sarcastic humor—she actually does a soft shoe on a piece of matzo. Her taps skillfully parallel every syllable of her text. Most impressive is the nonchalant ease with which she executes every shuffle and paradiddle—not too shabby for a woman who has worked with tap legends Charles “Cookie” Cook and Gregory Hines. Her taps are not the only distinctive sounds; her waist is adorned with a Gypsy-like coin belt that chimes with the slightest movement, hence the term “belly tap.” The combination is well blended and entertaining. But a tap show this is not. Goldberg’s taps provide the soundtrack to her engaging narration.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on November 1, 2005